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AncalagonTheBlack

K.J. Parker (a.k.a.Tom Holt) - Part II

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So this morning I was looking at Tom Holt's humor novels and am considering trying one out. Are they all basically standalones? And, what is generally considered the best of them?

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Did anyone ever suggest the two authors were one and the same? From Wert's piece it seems his wife was once a candidate - surely if people were that close they could tell the writing styles were similar? Or is he genuinely good at writing very distinctly?



I'm curious that people may not like KJ Parker's books now they know who it is. I kind of feel that's making his point for him. They certainly shouldn't become inferior books retroactively merely because they aren't by the type of person you expected.



I'm in agreement with those who suggest it's a canny publicity stunt to boost sales. Nothing inherently wrong with that.


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People were suggesting the two were the same; that's presumably why Holt worked so hard to make it seem he and Parker were different people (the "interview," William Schafer of Subterranean Press telling people and editing Wikipedia to the effect that Parker was definitely not Holt). The wife theory was in part a way of maintaining the idea of a connection to Holt while accounting for the claim that Parker was female.


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So this morning I was looking at Tom Holt's humor novels and am considering trying one out. Are they all basically standalones? And, what is generally considered the best of them?

No idea which one is the best. I read Who's afraid of Beowulf ages ago and liked it back then. I assume his more recent novels stand a good chance of being even better. It does have the advantage of a relatively slim volume.

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Parker/Holt is reading and replying to comments posted in the discussion section of the Two of Swords website. All the discussion so far is attached to Episode 1, but there are discussion sections for all three released episodes.


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Parker/Holt is reading and replying to comments posted in the discussion section of the Two of Swords website. All the discussion so far is attached to Episode 1, but there are discussion sections for all three released episodes.

Interesting,it seems his books are indeed set in the same world:

All my stuff is set in the same imagined geography, because I’m too idle to make up a new one each time. But time passes, civilisations rise and fall and are forgotten, like the Assyrians and the Maya, and places get new names. The Hammer, for instance, is probably the latest in the chronology (about the same period as A Small Price To Pay), whereas Purple and Black is something like a thousand years earlier.

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This is kind of an anticlimax for me.



I'm about 20 minutes into the podcast. I did LOL at the Campaign for Real Fantasy though. Guess you have to be into beer to get why that's funny though.


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man ive barely used this forum since the TV show started up again, because it's been running like crap



KJ Parker being a man is certainly something interesting I've missed


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It seems to have actually gotten very little reaction other than "oh".

I was slightly miffed at the time but now that I've had some time to mull it over I can see where he was coming from.

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Part Four of The Two of Swords is out today. And Hachette's site now includes listings for Parts Nine through Twelve, while the dedicated website for the serial has sidebar listings for thirteen parts. Parker reiterated in a recent comment at the site that the writing, and indeed the planning, of the serial is still unfinished:


Completed? No. I know what’s going to happen in the short to medium term, but as far as the final outcome is concerned, I’m keeping options open until the characters decide what they want to do. I’ve consulted all the leading pollsters, so I can confidently predict that Ed Miliband will be the next Emperor of the West.

Edited by Brendan Moody

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I was inspired by this thread to start reading KJ Parker.

I've just read my first book, The Hammer. Rather like Mary Renault's Funeral Games, it's excellently written, but very dark and depressing. Are all of Parker's stories like that?

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Ha, yes. Yes they are. Although I find, personally, that The Hammer is one of the darkest and most depressing.

One can't really describe the main protagonist as morally grey. A complete sociopath is my view.

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Ah Tom Holt. I read a few of his books years ago and enjoyed them. Nothing special but entertaining. Tends to forget when to stop with being silly though (similar to Jasper Fforde and Simon R. Green imo).


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Has anyone been reading the serialized story? Is it the same as the Invincible Sun epic that KJ discussed in a sorta recent interview?

I actually thought the KJ short story collection was excellent so think a serialized story in short story sized chunks could be a great format for herhim.

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Has anyone been reading the serialized story? Is it the same as the Invincible Sun epic that KJ discussed in a sorta recent interview?

I've read the first three parts, there is no mention of the Invincible Sun.

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The Invincible Sun does come up in the fourth part, but not in a way that makes it seem like this could be the series that was supposed to start with a book of that title. Even so, I think it has to be: the descriptions are generally similar, and something as big as The Two of Swords doesn't just come out of nowhere.


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Announcing a second Tor.com novella from K.J. Parker





K.J. Parker’s upcoming novella The Last Witness, out October 10th from Tor.com, was one of the first books we bought for the new novella line, and it’s so much fun! Parker is pretty much universally loved here in the Tor.com Tower, so when I was asked if we’d like another novella from the great man himself, I jumped at the chance.



The new book has the working title of The Devil You Know, and is due to be published in spring of next year.


Want to know more about The Devil You Know? You know you want to, you devil…




The Devil You Know



The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years, to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.


But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus—the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has known; the sort of man even the Father of Lies can’t trust. He’s almost certainly up to something; but what?


Edited by AncalagonTheBlack

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Part Five of The Two of Swords is out today. It's the shortest part yet, but it does a lot for the overall story, and ends on a vicious cliffhanger.


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